Archive Tag:drabble

Drabble 152 – Haliography

A photo of the ocean.

I still have dreams about the island where I grew up. There’s some half-true version of it in my mind, where everything is both bigger and smaller, where everything is the same and entirely different. There are large fields of grass where there should be a highway, and the ocean extends forever instead of butting up against the other landmasses nearby. But the ocean is shallow, and you can walk out and out and out and the water will never go above your waist.

I return there again and again when I sleep, running over these imaginary fields, stepping into a shallow ocean that never ends. Even when the dreams are nightmares—they often are—there’s something comforting about returning to this place that I know so well despite it being entirely unfamiliar.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 151 – Flatulopetic

John Collier's "A Glass of Wine with Caesar Borgia," depicting Cesare and Lucrezia Borgias next to Pope Alexander. Cesare and Pope Alexander are seated, while Lucrezia stands.
John Collier

Lucrezia Borgia probably wasn’t a poisoner. It’s a myth that persisted through the ages, likely because the Borgia family had many enemies who benefitted from spreading rumors about them. And despite the common “poison is a woman’s weapon,” refrain, most poisoners are men.

But the myths persist. Lucrezia murdered her family’s way to power thanks to a ring containing foxglove or arsenic, it’s said, despite there being no evidence that such a thing ever happened.

For some reason, I was disappointed to learn that it wasn’t true, that she was just another victim (likely not innocent, but a victim nonetheless) of rumor.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 150 – Widdershins

A photo of many mushrooms growing together.

It’s been a while since I last found time to write a drabble. Or rather, it’s been a while since I found time to post—I think I wrote this one two weeks ago, but failed to actually read through and schedule it.

I’m not particularly sorry, either. It used to be that missing a week would have made me impossibly stressed, despite these drabbles not getting a lot of views and the likelihood of somebody coming to yell at me about it being slim. Still, I think a lot about what I owe to others, about what I promise, about what I’m allowed.

Writing these short stories every week started as an exercise. A writer should have a blog, according to my English professors, but what could I blog about? I should get used to having my fiction read by others, but how? Can I dedicate the time every week to train myself to post with regularity?

I could, it turns out. And I still can, when it’s a priority. But writing these was once my primary way to put my writing in front of people and isn’t anymore. Now, these 100-word stories are a respite from whatever I’m working on, a place to flex my creative muscles and challenge myself. This blog so far might have sounded like I’m leading up to saying that drabbles are going away forever while I focus on, I don’t know, more “important” work, but they’re not. I like them, and I like what they force me to do, so I’ll keep doing them—though perhaps with more lapses, because as it turns out, a writer should have a blog, but that blog is practice for other things that may have to take precedence.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 149 – Hagiocracy

An image of stained glass saints

I don’t know a lot about religion. It wasn’t part of my upbringing, and my brushes with it were… let’s go with unpleasant, which is more about me and my state of mind at an impressionable age than with any individual religion.

Whatever my feelings about it, I find discussing religion fascinating. I don’t mind it when proselytizers come to my door, provided they’re not going to badmouth the poor or anybody else right to my face (I say this because it’s happened; that particular missionary isn’t welcome at my door any more). I like hearing about peoples’ beliefs, about what brings them hope. I don’t have to believe the same things to connect with others about my need for solace and guidance and hope.

I don’t really have anything I’m getting at, here. I think that things that bring us hope are good, provided they don’t bring us hope at the expense of others, which I feel should be obvious but unfortunately isn’t. I don’t know if I believe the world will ever be as good as I can imagine it to be, but it’s important to me to imagine it anyway.

Here’s a drabble.

Drabble 148 – Murdermonger

A photo of a rack of clothing up close. There are lots of different textures.

I think a lot about revenge for a person who doesn’t think of herself as “vengeful.” I really do believe that living well is the best revenge, which is why I try to live exceptionally well.

I don’t. I struggle a lot, as most people my age do. I have vet bills, student loans, credit card debt. I also have good friends, a wonderful family, and work that genuinely fills me with joy. I have a book coming out in a week. That, too, is revenge.

Is it okay to harbor resentful feelings, I ask myself. Does it make me a bad, unkind, heartless person?

It might. So I try to balance it out. I think about revenge, and try to do something nice for somebody else. I think about revenge, and I set it aside to work, instead. I think about revenge, and how I don’t actually care about it anymore, because I have better things to fill my time with than to fixate on people who went out of their way to make me miserable years and years and years ago.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 147 – Agathokakological

A vintage image

I’m a high-strung person. I wish I was the type of person that lets inconveniences and frustrations roll of their back, but in fact I am the kind of person who fixates on mistakes until they take up my entire brain. I have to pencil in time for self-care or I will forget that my brain and my body need time to rest and recuperate.

I’m also not a person with many vices. This is, in fact, probably why I’m so high-strung. Sometimes, the best cure for a bad day is chopping vegetables or slicing steak with my giant knife or pounding coriander to dust with a mallet. Destroying things to make them delicious is my specialty.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 144 – Hypsiphobia

A photo of two young women sitting on a cliff, staring at mountains.

Like many people, I don’t like heights. The moment I reach the top of a building–let’s be honest, the moment I reach the top of a ladder–my knees go weak. Not in the romantic way; in the way that feels like I’ve lost control of my body. I picture myself falling, imagine the sick feeling in my stomach of missing a stair but it goes on and on as I plummet six feet, or ten, or twenty, and so on.

It’s not the worst fear to have, thankfully. I can mostly avoid extreme heights, and roller coasters go fast enough that I barely notice the drop. I honestly wonder what it’s like to not be afraid of falling off of even the smallest distances, but I suppose I’m better off not finding out.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 143 – Pythoness

An image of a Paestan vase, showing a female soothsayer with snakes on her shoulders and in her hair.

One of the strongest ways that anxiety manifests for me is in the ways I think about the future. I’m generally an optimist, but when I’m feeling anxious, I imagine myself with a sort of reverse Midas touch: everything I do, everything I’m involved in, everything I know and love, will crumble by virtue of my involvement.

I’m not a Cassandra; most of these things don’t come true, and if they do, the consequences are never as bad as I imagine them to be. I am, as it turns out, terrible at predicting the future. If anxiety were rational, my acknowledgement of this fact would make it disappear. It doesn’t.

Instead, I have to recognize it for what it is. I don’t know the future. In fact, I don’t want to know the future. I prefer to let things be a mystery, anxiety be damned.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 142 – Eschaton

A photo of ivy growing against a cement wall.

I’m not a good gardener, but I try. I can’t keep mint alive to save my life. I keep letting my precious raspberries get eaten by birds or my dog or simply turn purple and drop off the vine because I’ve forgotten to go out and pick them.

Still, I love it. I love seeing the raspberries there, even if I don’t pick them in time. I love seeing things growing, even if they’re the weeds I’ve neglected to pick out. Something is working, even if it’s not by my hand.

These are things I never thought I could do. At some points in my life, I’ve been convinced that everything I touch will crumble, if not literally than figuratively. As it turns out, that’s not necessarily true; sometimes things grow in unexpected ways, and that, too, can be a gift.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 141 – Mooncalf

A photo of a yellow moon against a black background.

I find myself coming back to the same figurative language over and over again. I’m not going to outline themI have some pride, and if I say what they are someone might notice. One metaphor is about wanting, one simile is about movement, and another simile is about the moon.

Despite being weirdly afraid of stars when I was a kid (they looked like eyes, and I didn’t like eyes that belonged to things I couldn’t see), I was never afraid of the moon. It was big and friendly, and on clear enough nights it cast the whole world in a pale white light that made everything look strange. Familiar, but different somehow; like a spotlight shining through my bedroom window.

It felt like a magical occasion when the moon showed up like that, like something special was happening. I live in the Pacific Northwest; we’re not known for our clear weather, so a cloudless night with a bright moon wasn’t the norm.

My feelings haven’t changed much now that I’m older. Somehow, there’s something comforting about a big rock in the sky that reflects light and makes our oceans move, something that reflects sunlight back at us and makes the darkness bright again.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.